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Judge orders arrest of Ammon Bundy for ignoring lawsuit over false claims hospital employees were kidnapping and murdering children

on Bundy Announces Run For Idaho Governor

BOISE, ID – JUNE 19: Ammon Bundy announces his candidacy for governor of Idaho during a campaign event on June 19, 2021 in Boise, Idaho. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

The judge overseeing an Idaho hospital’s lawsuit against right-wing agitator Ammon Bundy has called for his arrest after his repeated failures to participate in the case.

Ada County Judge Lynn Norton issued a civil arrest warrant for Bundy on Tuesday, the Idaho Capital Sun reported. Setting Bundy’s bail at $10,000, the judge reportedly determined that there is probable cause that Bundy has committed contempt.

Bundy was sued for harassment and defamation in May of 2022 by St. Luke’s Health System over what the hospital calls a “knowingly dishonest and baseless smear campaign” that falsely accused employees and doctors of kidnapping, trafficking, and murdering children in Idaho.

The lawsuit stems from an incident in which Bundy, known for leading armed standoffs with federal officials in Nevada and Oregon, refused to leave hospital property in March 2022 over St. Luke’s alleged treatment of the grandchild of his friend Diego Rodriguez.

The two men called for — and led — days-long protests at the hospital, encouraging supporters to join them and accusing doctors of kidnapping and harming hundreds of children. The hospital says it was forced to go on lockdown on March 15, 2022, as a result of the demonstrations, blocking doctors and nurses from entering or exiting the buildings and forcing the hospital to reroute ambulances and direct patients to other locations. St. Luke’s also accused Bundy of orchestrating a “campaign of technological disruption,” encouraging followers to flood the phone lines and email inboxes “in an effort to shut down St. Luke’s operations.” Some of those calls, the hospital says, were menacing and included death threats.

As Bundy tells it, he was subjected to “an ambush arrest with no legal grounds.”

“Ammon Bundy was arrested in front of St. Luke’s Hospital in Meridian for the crime of disagreeing with the hospital and CPS,” Bundy said in a statement posted to Twitter at the time. Bundy said that he had arrived at the hospital “in support of the Anderson family, whose baby Cyrus had been medically kidnapped earlier in the night, due to a missed non-emergency doctors appointment.”

“Ask yourself this,” the post ominously continued. “If they can revoke your parental rights and take custody of your child over a missed doctor appointment, what else can they do and how did they get this power?”

“Idaho must unite against medical tyranny and take back our rights,” Bundy added.

St. Luke’s says Bundy’s version of events isn’t what actually happened — and that Bundy and Rodriguez know it.

In the complaint, St. Luke’s described parents taking an infant to the St. Luke’s Boise emergency room on March 1. The infant struggled with oral feeding, and the parents consented to all of the care provided, the hospital says.

According to the lawsuit, the state’s Department of Health and Welfare intervened after the parents failed to attend follow-up appointments, and police took custody of the infant on March 11. Though the parents did not provide medical information, the hospital says, they consented to the infant’s treatment plan.

The complaint says that St. Luke’s “did not vaccinate the Infant against the wishes of the parents,” nor did St. Luke’s “harm [the Infant] in irreparable ways.” St. Luke’s also denied Bundy and Rodriguez’s allegations of abuse.

“Such statements were false and were intended to attract media attention, incite followers, collect donations, disrupt hospital operations, and defame the St. Luke’s Parties,” the lawsuit alleges. The lawsuit also claims that Bundy and Rodriguez tried to raise money from the protests.

According to the Idaho Capital Sun, Bundy has repeatedly failed to appear in court in connection with the St. Luke’s lawsuit. He also appears to have not responded to the lawsuit in any way whatsoever, allegedly telling Gem County Sheriff Donnie Wunder that he will not accept service of legal process.

Wunder has said that Bundy told him during a phone call that he was “at his breaking point,” and the sheriff believed him, the Idaho Capital Sun reported.

“My concern is with the safety of process servers and my deputies,” Wunder reportedly said in a letter. “I do not want to risk harm over a civil issue.”

In December, Bundy made a video in which he appeared to threaten process servers or anyone who may try to force him to comply with the legal process.

“They’re suing me for defamation,” Bundy said in the video, according to the Daily Beast. “They’re probably going to try to get judgments of over a million dollars and take everything they have from me. And I’m not going to let that happen. I’m making moves to stop that from happening. And if I have to meet ’em on the front door with my, you know, friends and a shotgun, I’ll do that. They’re not going to take my property.”

The St. Luke’s plaintiffs have asked the Idaho Supreme Court to force Wunder’s office to serve the notices on Bundy.

The lawsuit also named Bundy’s gubernatorial campaign and Rodriguez as defendants. Bundy ran as an Independent for Idaho governor in 2022, garnering more than 100,000 votes and coming in third among statewide voters. He has already declared that he will make another bid for the office in 2026.

The Idaho Capital Sun noted that while Bundy was not in the courtroom on Tuesday when Norton issued the arrest warrant, several of his supporters were.

Bundy pleaded guilty in January to misdemeanor trespassing for refusing to leave hospital grounds and received a suspended sentence of 90 days in jail. He was arrested in 2021 for refusing to wear a mask inside a court building during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Law&Crime’s Adam Klasfeld contributed to this report.

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